Three Minute Squiz With… Siobhan Quinn

Siobhan Quinn is a new mum to gorgeous and happy bub Mason. She’s heading back to her big corporate job this week after six months maternity leave. Smart, funny, ambitious and about to hit the work/family situation head on, we caught up with her for this week’s Three Minute Squiz.

How and where do you Squiz?
Pre-baby, it was in bed (6am) or on the train on the way to work. Post-baby, it’s when ever I get a spare five minutes, usually while I’m feeding Mason in the morning.

What was the first tape/CD you ever owned?
I used to record my own mix tapes off Rick Dees and the weekly top 40. I remember sitting on the floor of my bedroom, finger paused over the record button on my stereo, ready to pounce as soon as I heard the intro to my favourite tune. The frustration was real when the DJ cut off the end of the song and I’d have to do it all over again the next night. My first CD was 100% Hits in the 90’s with MC Hammer, B-52’s and Sir Mix-A-Lot.

What’s your go-to karaoke song?
Nothing beats a bit of Farnsy and You’re the Voice!

What’s your guilty TV-watching secret?
Real Housewives. There’s something about a bunch of cringeworthy rich people with first world problems that is highly entertaining.

How’s parenthood treating you?
It’s been pretty tough but also amazing. Being a parent is one of the most physically exhausting things I’ve ever done. Human babies are a bit hopeless compared to other mammals, but when you get that first smile and you start to see their little personalities develop, it’s all worth it. I never knew I could love something so much.

What’s been the best/hardest thing?
Mason has obviously been the best thing but also the sense of community. There is this secret society of parents hiding in plain sight who suddenly make eye contact with you on the street, smile at you with a knowing look and offer to help you with your groceries in the supermarket. I thought community was dead until I became a parent. There’s something about having a kid that unlocks the good in people.

The hardest thing has been the lack of sleep – I now understand why sleep deprivation is used as a form of torture. And there’s a loss of independence, to an extent. I have a newfound respect for stay at home parents, it’s a tough gig.

How are you feeling about heading back to work?
Mixed emotions. I’ll miss hanging out with Mason all day but I’m also excited about getting back to work. This time off has made me realise how much I love my job and the people I work with. It’s going to be a challenge to get the work/life balance right but I have a very supportive workplace and my husband Michael is taking the next six months off to be Mason’s primary carer. He is an amazing and devoted dad which makes it a little bit easier to go back to work.

We have a great group of full-time mums and dads who tell us The Squiz really helps them keep up with the news. Even though you’re a news hound, has that been your experience?
It’s been tough keeping on top of the news as a new mum but I am certainly capable of reading a quick and entertaining summary of key events or listening to a podcast while I do my fifth load of laundry for the day. The Squiz has been a great way to stay on top of things during my mat leave so I can keep up with dinner party conversations. It’s a big hit at mothers group!

What skill or talent do you not have but wish you did?
I wish I could play an instrument.

Which historical figure do you admire?
Dame Elisabeth Murdoch. Such a strong woman who did so much for her family, children’s welfare, the arts and the community. I’d like to think I could be that selfless even with all that money and power. Pretty impressive for a woman of her generation.

What do you consider the most overrated virtue?
Temperance… but my more serious answer is tolerance.

Name four people – living or dead – you’d kill to sit down to dinner with.
There are so many but every good dinner party needs humour and interesting conversation so I’d say Robin Williams, Olivia Munn, Joanna Lumley and Emmeline Pankhurst.

What’s your worst habit?
I can be a bit of a perfectionist. Although motherhood has helped beat that out of me a bit. I’m trying to live the mantra of ‘done is better than perfect!’

If you could only go to one holiday destination for the rest of your natural life, what would it be?
Barcelona. Great food, rich history, wonderful art, good beaches and a fab night life. Sign me up!

What’s your no-fail dinner party recipe?
Ask my husband to cook.

What qualities do you most value in a friend?
Humour, honesty, intelligence, unpretentious and direct.

What would you say is the most currently overlooked news story we should know about?
The Rohingya refugee crisis. The UN has called it “a crisis within a crisis.” Maybe I’m a bit soft now I’m a mum but seeing all those kids pushed out of their country, losing their parents and now facing devastating floods is heartbreaking.

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